Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fresh air on SB 2254

Sometimes it's hard to find articles even when linked. For educational purposes I have pasted the entire article here. It came from the Viewpoint Section of the Grand Forks Herald on 01-31-07. I know it's long but something this important requires a little time to counteract the emotional rants that have been seen everywhere else.

VIEWPOINT : High-fence hunting: Honest, ethical, fair

By Oren Krapp,
Published Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PINGREE, N.D. - At 9 a.m. Thursday in the Brynhild Haugland Room of the Capitol, the Senate Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing on Senate Bill 2254, the high-fence hunting (elk farming) bill. I urge Herald readers to attend or to contact their senators and ask them to vote “No” on SB2254.

SB2254 was introduced by a Fargo senator and is being backed by those who, in the past, supported various measures that would bar nonresident hunters from visiting the state. Make no mistake: On the surface, this bill may seem to seek only to bar “high-fence” hunting by putting elk and deer ranches out of business. But the gist of it is still another attempt at keeping nonresident hunters out of North Dakota.

The bill prohibits owners of nontraditional livestock operations from allowing fee shooting. Proponents say their reasoning is threefold: disease, genetics and ethics.

But the first two of these arguments are easily rebutted by a few facts.

-- The domestic herds of elk and deer in North Dakota are free of the main disease in question - chronic wasting disease. The present system of regulation by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is working very well, and the North Dakota state veterinarian agrees.

The threat of CWD is not irrelevant. However, CWD is just as likely to be brought into the state through the wild herds. Tight regulation and monitoring - not banning an entire industry - is the answer.

-- Genetics inside the fences of game preserves are the same, if not better, than outside the fence. States may regulate and monitor the genetic purity of any nontraditional livestock. Again, tight regulation and monitoring is the answer.

As for ethics (the third reason mentioned above), it's based on emotion. And proponents of this bill are no strangers to pushing their legislative agendas purely on emotion! But this time, they have taken the low road and are making a pact with a curious partner: animal rights activists.

It is almost hard to tell the proponents of this bill from members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They talk about “Bambi in a barrel,” bringing up issues of animal cruelty. Is this the pot calling the kettle black? What about all the animals that are wounded by hunters in the wild (as the result of “fair chase”) and never see a clean and humane death?

Have you ever encountered a wounded and limping Bambi? If you live in North Dakota, you probably have, and chances are it was the victim of a hunter's errant shot.

Ban hunting?

So, should we just ban hunting in North Dakota, period? After all, what is ethical? Isn't a harvested animal, whether on a preserve or in the wild, just as dead? What about all the man-made gadgets that give hunters an advantage over animals?

Does an animal in the “wild” on North Dakota's flat, treeless plains (where you can see for miles) even stand a chance against the over-equipped hunters that Cabela's turns out these days? Whose ethics should we choose, yours or mine?

If a hunter - whether he is a client of a hunting preserve or hunting in the wild -breaks the law, he needs to be reined in. Again, regulation and monitoring is the answer, and our Game and Fish Department is doing a very good job of this.

As an owner of a bison-hunting operation, I have guided dozens and dozens of clients over the past years. The people I have met are some of the best I have met anywhere, and they certainly don't fit the profile cast on them by some proponents of this bill.

They are honest, decent, hard-working and law-abiding people who are here mainly to bond with their fellow hunters, and I think that's what most people in this debate forget.

The hunters who have visited my ranch typically have never visited North Dakota before, and they go away with a piece of its history, culture and flavor when they leave. And they have a great bundle of meat with them, to boot!

Try telling one of my hunters, after he has stalked a bison with a long bow in minus-60 degree wind chill all day in my 1,200-acre pasture, if he feels like an unscrupulous murderer. If my guests want to come and pay to experience something besides asphalt and concrete and traffic, who should tell me I can't let them harvest the animals I have raised myself?

As for the ethical issue, I cannot fathom a more humane way to harvest my bison. Make no mistake: They are produced for their meat, just like the thousands of cattle in this state. But their harvest is performed in their natural setting, and we've never wounded an animal and then left him to go off and die an agonizing death.

We don't have to rile them up to get them into a chute, and we don't have to prolong their agony by hauling them in a trailer. They are treated just as humanely as I can treat them as a producer, or I wouldn't be in this business.

One hundred percent of my guests are nonresident hunters. I think that is what the “beef” is about in this debate. This legislation is just another way to keep nonresidents from coming to North Dakota.

The nonresident issue

Let's be direct: Some people are worried that while they're here, these hunters may shoot a duck or two. It's true, they buy the appropriate licenses and, during the season, they do hunt other species. Thus, this legislation.

For years, North Dakota encouraged the development of hunting lodges and bed and breakfasts as “value-added” economic development in the state. The state Extension Service held seminars on how to open businesses such as hunting lodges, and MarketPlace even held a seminar titled, “Market Buffalo Hunts on E-Bay.”

They did all this and more with state funds. But now, the state is being asked to actually sponsor the destruction of businesses it advocated?

Mind you, bison hunting would not be banned in this particular legislation because bison are classified as a domestic animal. But we've been through a lot of legislative issues in this state, and I have a hard time believing that the proponents of SB2254 will not find a way to work it so that any type of high-fence hunting is banned.

Please contact your legislators at (888) 635-3447 and ask them to vote no on SB2254. You will be asked by the operator to state your name, address, phone number and one reason why you think it should be voted down. I've given you several.

Krapp owns a bison ranch near Pingree.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Some pros & cons of SB 2254

The biggest objection seems to be what they call 'canned hunts' or 'high fence hunting'. When asked, nobody that supports this bill has been to a deer/elk ranch or participated in one of these hunts. Their response is usually, "Meth is against the law and I don't participate in that." Nothing like sending a subliminal message that deer/elk ranchers are involved in meth. Some of the deer/elk ranches have many hundreds of acres of land to have their animals roam on. My question is instead of banning a completely legal activity, why aren't rules established where it can't be called "hunting."

The next objection seems to be there is a disease problem with confined deer/elk and there will be a big problem with the spread of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease). Well deer/elk ranchers are very concerned with protecting their investment and most states have very strict rules about the health of imported deer/elk. It seems that CWD is the disease of the moment and has not been found to affect humans. In fact the deer/elk ranchers are more concerned with TB and other diseases affecting their herds than with CWD, not that they are haphazard about it. There are always going to be the jerk that isn't as careful as we would like, just like there is the slob hunter that we wish didn't exist.

Another objection is the property rights issue. Deer/elk ranches have been encouraged in North Dakota and our politicians talk about contributions they make to our state's economy. When this is mentioned to the supporters of SB 2254, they call the deer/elk ranchers whores who will do anything for money and it's just too bad if they get closed down. Remember, SB 2254 doesn't ban the deer/elk ranches, it establishes and changes some rules for notification of escaping animals, catching escaping animals and fence heighths.

What SB 2254 does ban, is any shooting of any animals/birds raised on the property of the non-typical livestock or elk licensed property. It does not prevent the licensed property from raising the non-typical livestock or elk and selling it to someone else in North Dakota for shooting. And remember if this passes, there will no longer be any bird preserves left that raise pheasants on the same property they hunt them for money.

Another objection I've heard at least on a local radio-station-rant is the tax dollars that the elk/deer ranches are paid and a lot of people wouldn't like their tax dollars to support these types of activities and all the money it will take to administrate any rules. I guess I can't blame the radio-station-ranter for this one since the supporters of SB2254 claim a bunch of Game & Fish money goes to the ND Board of Animal Health just to administrate the non-typical livestock. The non-typical livestock used to be under the Gamd & Fish Department with allocated money to administer. A few years ago the non-typical livestock were moved to be administered by the ND Board of Animal Health and the allocated money went with the move. As per tax dollars being used to administer the rules for the non-typical livestock radio-statio-rant, take a look at the FCC Budget allocation to administer the rules for radio-station-rants, $304,057,000 (that's 304+ BILLION of yours and mine tax dollars)

Don't take my word for it, check it out:

FCC Budget

North American Deer Farmers Assoc.

Deer & Elk Farmers Discussion Board spend a little time here clicking through some posts and learn a little about some junk science and other things

A ND Legislative Bill Forum

Another forum

Another Legislative Bill Forum

aphis/usda/CWD site


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is it ever as it appears to be? ? ? ?

Senate Bill 2254 2007 ND Legislative Session

A BILL for an Act to create and enact a new section to chapter 36-01 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to hunting on nontraditional livestock and farmed elk facilities; facilities; to amend and reenact sections 36-25-05 and 36-25-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to escape and identification of farmed elk; and to provide a penalty.

The second part of the bill doesn't seem to bother those people affected the most unless I've just not heard about it. (to amend and reenact sections 36-25-05 and 36-25-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to escape and identification of farmed elk; and to provide a penalty.)

The main part of the bill is the most controversial:

A new section to chapter 36-01 of the North Dakota Century Code is
created and enacted as follows:
Nontraditional livestock and farmed elk facilities - Fee shooting prohibited -
Penalty. After the effective date of this Act, the shooting of nontraditional livestock or farmed elk for a fee or other remuneration on a licensed nontraditional livestock or farmed elk facility is prohibited. A person who willfully violates this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

The bill is known as the "ban canned hunting" bill or the "high fence shooting" because those supporting it are insinuating to people that all animals shot at the deer/elk ranches are tied to a post and someone walks up, shoots them and then claims they spent many days in the woods hunting. The high fence part is mostly from the requirement that deer/elk ranchers must have a minimum heighth to their fences

Lets take a look at this bill,

First thing is what is "nontraditional livestock" in North Dakota Century Code?

It is defined in Title 36 Chapter 36-01: State Board of Animal Health

36-01-00.1. Definitions. In this chapter unless the context or subject matter otherwise
1. "Board" means the state board of animal health.
2. "Commissioner" means the agriculture commissioner.
3. "Domestic animal" means dog, cat, horse, bovine animal, sheep, goat, bison,
farmed elk, llama, alpaca, or swine.
4. "Nontraditional livestock" means any wildlife held in a cage, fence, enclosure, or other manmade means of confinement that limits its movement within definite boundaries or an animal that is physically altered to limit movement and facilitate capture.
My interpretation of this says all pheasants, chukars, pigeons, ducks, deer, but not including elk are "non-typical livestock."

I was able to find the license requirements for non-traditional livestock:
36-01-08.1. Nontraditional livestock license - Fee. The board of animal health may
require a license for nontraditional livestock maintained within this state. The annual fee for a license for a bird species required to be licensed is seven dollars. The maximum amount of annual fees for bird species licenses to be paid by a person holding more than one bird species license is forty dollars. The annual fee for a license for any other species required to be licensed is fifteen dollars. The maximum amount of annual fees for nonbird species licenses to be paid by a person holding more than one nonbird species license is one hundred dollars.
As you can see by the second and third sentence:
The annual fee for a license for a bird species required to be licensed is seven dollars.
The maximum amount of annual fees for bird species licenses to be paid by a person holding more than one bird species license is forty dollars.
Now lets go back to the wording of the bill:

After the effective date of this Act, the shooting of nontraditional livestock or farmed elk for a fee or other remuneration on a licensed nontraditional livestock or farmed elk facility is prohibited.
So basically all bird preserves will be banned if there is any birds released to be shot. Of course if they wish to do it for free, that is okay.
....for a fee or other remuneration.....
The part of the bill relating to bird preserves has not been publicized and most suporters have neglected to mention it. Why? They know there are a lot more people that participate in bird preserve shooting than participate in big game shooting. It's the old "divide & conquer."

I hear people say on various web boards that they don't care because only the rich folks participate in the big game shooting. When told this affects the bird preserves some will say they don't care because they don't do that either.

I'll bet PETA is laughing.

First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me.

And we haven't even started in on the pro's & con's of this bill other than what the proponenets have not told everyone.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Citizen's arrest

From GF Herald 01-25-07

By Susanne Nadeau, Herald Staff Writer

Published Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Grand Forks man tracked down and detained another man he believed stole his snowmobile early Wednesday in a south-end neighborhood.

Police don't encourage citizens to make their own arrests, but in this case it worked. Matthew Howard Walsh, 23, was carted off about 1:30 a.m. when police arrived on the scene. He was charged with possession of stolen property.

Apparently, police say, the snowmobile owner was awakened by a family member who heard something and suspected the sled was being taken. The snowmobile owner, who police declined to name, called police and then took a separate vehicle on a search for the snowmobile. He was able to follow the tracks left in a sprinkling of snow that fell over Grand Forks on Tuesday night.

He found Walsh, the suspected thief, and the snowmobile “disabled” in the street around the 5300 block of Chestnut, according to Grand Forks Police Lt. Jim Remer. The owner then held Walsh until police arrived, Remer said. He wouldn't say how the man detained Walsh.

“Obviously, a citizen should be very careful in a situation like this,” Remer said.

Gathering information for law enforcement is fine, but people should never put themselves in danger to retrieve stolen property. People have a “natural inclination to respond that way,” Remer said, but he's “definitely not recommending that they do.”

“We have had instances where a subject lashed out at the person confronting them,” Remer said.

Nadeau reports on public safety, crime and courts. Reach her at (701) 780-1118, (800) 477-6572, ext. 118; or

"He wouldn't say how the man detained Walsh."

If someone is out stealing another person's property, they should not complain about a little soreness when the police arrive.

Not that I would ever encourage any type of physical altercation but I do hope he was complaining about something.

More of this type of thing would help curb the crime rate.

Sure is better than crying to the police after watching your property disappear.

Reformed Chicks Blabbing

Reformed Chicks Blabbing

Friday, January 12, 2007

North Dakota 60th Legislative Session -2007

Are you curious to see what the legislature is doing
this year?

Go to the 2007 Major Topics Index and click on a topic
you are interested in.

For example Counties. Then pick a bill like Eminant Domain
and click on the bill number. In this case it's SB 2039.

There will be some numbers on the left side of the page like

Click on the 0100 to read the bill.

(To read the actual bill you'll need Acrobat Reader which I
think everyone has by default.)

IF you want to know any actions taken, click on the link to
the right and a little above the other link.
In this case it looks like this: » SB 2039 Actions

Take some time and look around.
After all, the legislature only does things that affect us all.